Archive for the ‘Income Property’ Category

ONTARIO LANDLORDS: JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED

Friday, September 18th, 2020

 The Landlord And Tenant Board Is The Way To Legally Evict Non-Paying Tenants. But It’s Taking Months To Get A Hearing! This Just Isn’t Fair! 

Our members own rental properties all over the province. From the far north to the most southern parts of Ontario. From the largest cities to some of the smallest towns. From East to West.

From all over Ontario the message is clear: small landlords are not getting Hearing Dates at the Landlord and Tenant Board.  This is leading to many landlords facing extremely difficult circumstances.

Many landlords have waited for months to get a hearing as their tenants don’t pay rent. Some have been waiting since 2019!

Our OLA members realize that due to the pandemic we should expect some delays…but for months and months, or over a year? No way.

Many  Small Landlords Are Facing Bankruptcy Through No Fault Of Our Own!

Most of our members felt the some of the policies of the Wynne Liberals were not helpful and would lead to less investment (and higher vacancy rates). Our predictions came true.

However, at least Wynne funded the Landlord and Tenant Board and allowed landlords (and tenants) to “have our day in court” within a reasonable time frame.

Furthermore, Kathleen was always open to our calls and questions, as both Housing Minister and then Premier. She wasn’t afraid to explain her policies to us.

Kathleen reached out to the OLA and our members personally many times over the years to explain new goals, new policies ideas, and always wanted the feedback of OLA members (for example, we prevented “own use” applications being banned and explained how damaging it would be to control rent prices between tenancies).

Wynne was not a puppet for corporate landlords and was always there to have long discussions and listen the concerns of our members as well as from tenants.

Are You Still Waiting For Your Landlord And Tenant Board Hearing Date?

Let us know and we’ll make sure your voice is heard! All emailed information will be sent to the Premier and his staff directly. By sending it to us you agree to allow us to publish the information (names redacted).

Send us the following information to landlordvoices@activist.com (Names will be private):

-Your LTB Case Number

-How Long You have Been Waiting

-The Amount Of Money Owed To You

-Some Information On Your Case (Why You Need The Hearing)

-How Not Having Access To Justice Is Impacting You And Your Family

We Need Fairness For Landlords!  Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied!

Even the Wynne Liberals ensured landlords and tenants go our “day in court” in a  month or so.

Now landlords are facing months and months of delays while their tenants continue to not pay rent, make damages or harass their landlord or other tenants.

Good tenants have also written to us complaining their frustrations of long waits on maintenance and other claims.

This Is An Emergency

Small landlords aren’t afraid of the LTB…We need to be able to access it in a fair way and not have to wait for months on end to access our only avenue for justice!

We ask the Premier to “tune out” the landlord protestors and those landlords who aren’t professional and don’t have a real understanding of how government and industries work. They are not representative of 99.99% of the small landlords in Ontario and are embarrassing to us.

Most small “mom and pop” landlords are educated, worldly, and not reactionary with stock phrases demonizing tenants and promoting illegal acts whether it’s by signs or shady credit reporting that will lead to huge problems for those who do it. We were renters too and want to be the excellent landlord we never had.

Most small landlords are facing extreme financial challenges because they have no access to justice? What’s going on? Why is this happening?

Small landlords are running businesses and many voted to “Make Ontario Open For Business”.

Instead we are seeing a policy failure of historic proportions.

We Need Emergency Action To Get The Landlord and Tenant Board Running Efficiently As Soon As Possible

If not, many of our member will sell their rentals.

And even more will make sure they vote for a party that at least properly funds the Landlord and Tenant Board and runs it in a professional manner.

And a party that lives up to their campaign promises to small business people.

Residential Tenancies Act Has Changed – Good News For Landlords & Tenants

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

Bill 184 Has Passed And It Helps Protect Small Landlords

Many small “mom and pop” landlords have faced huge challenges the last four months. This includes our own personal challenges due to the pandemic.

It’s been a very stressful period but there is some good news that will help us run our rental businesses in more efficient manner. It also helps tenants deal with some of the ‘bad apple’ investors out there.

Win-Win For Good Landlords and Good Tenants

The Ontario government on May 26 brought forward Bill 184 for the second reading that small landlords had been waiting for. It has now passed and it’s now the law.

It is a Bill to improve the Residential Tenancies Act. This included changes we’ve told the government need to happen to protect small hard-working landlords across Ontario and avoid a mass sell-off!

These are difficult times for everyone. So many people are out of work and many have even been fired from their jobs. We know this and the new changes work to help everyone.

Bill 184 Is Called “The Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act 2020”

Despite the name, this bill makes some positive changes for landlords.

How?

For small landlords the the three most important changes are:

1. No More “Trial By Ambush”

Before this change in the law tenants were able to raise repair issues at eviction hearings without notifying the landlord of any problems first.

They didn’t need proof, they just had to bring up issues to get the Hearing cancelled and a new Hearing set for a later…usually many months later that many tenants still didn’t pay rent!

Many of our members faced unscrupulous and dirty tenant reps. who used what was intended to protect tenants instead to be a trick and legal weapon.

We have small landlords who even said dirty “reps” warned landlords “no house is perfect!” (meaning “I can ambush you to delay evictions!”) as a negotiating tactic to get landlords to pay money for tenants to move or they would use this to delay the eviction by months!

Now that Bill 184 passed, tenants need to give notice in writing of these complaints before a hearing occurs.  This will allow good landlords to make the repairs needed.

We have had thousands of reports of the years of tenant representatives bringing up imaginary “problems” with the rental property as a tactic to delay an eviction.

This has now ended and this dirty legal trick has been eliminated.

2. Allows Landlords To Pursue Tenants For Rent and Utilities Arrears Through the LTB, Instead of Small Claims Court

This is helpful because small claims court can take a lot of time to get a court date (up to a year or more) and you have to find your tenants to serve them.

Again, this will mostly help the large REIT corporate landlords who have their own legal teams. But it can help small landlords, especially when it comes to unpaid utilities.

3. Tenants Who Don’t Fulfill Their Payment Plans Get Evicted With No Hearing (which can take months)

When landlords apply to evict tenants for late rent, the tribunal can help mediate “payment plans” between the landlord and the tenant.

That sounds great. Not really. The problem is the mediation happens when the landlord finally gets a Hearing date at the landlord and tenant board.

Even before the corona virus, landlords had to wait months to get a Hearing date because of so many cases and too few LTB “adjudicators” (judges).

Under the new law, landlords and tenants can make their own “payment plans” together without having to wait months for an LTB Hearing.

If tenants are unable to fulfill the repayment agreements, landlords would not necessarily have to go back to the tribunal for an eviction hearing with the tenant. 

And tenants who tried to work with their landlord will get special consideration if it does go to a hearing versus tenants who simply refused to pay rent.

What About Helping Good Tenants?

There are changes that won’t impact good landlords but will help tenants deal with ‘bad apple’ investors.

For example, if you want to evict someone for your own use you have to give up your privacy rights and tell the LTB if you have done this before in the past couple years.

Since small landlords only use this option if they have children who need a place, or they sell their own property and move in to their rental to live, it won’t be an issue.

And fines for bad faith actions like”renovictions” have increased.

Most bad faith ‘renovictions” are from corporate landlords not from small landlords.

Good landlords want to cooperate with good tenants!

These new changes just strengthen this relationship by allowing landlords to act fast to deal with tenants who didn’t fulfill their side of the deal.

It also allows tenants more rights to fight against landlords trying to abuse the system.

This is a positive ‘first step’ in balancing the unbalanced pro-bad tenant policies create by the Liberals under McGuinty and Wynne.

New Laws Are Good, But Landlords Still Need More Changes

For example, the ability to charge damage deposits, shorter time frames for evictions for non payment and laws to protect landlords and tenants from those who are violent or abusive.

Part 1: My Tenants Haven’t Paid Rent For Months

Monday, June 1st, 2020

We are posting some of the thousands submissions sent from landlords across Ontario. Make your voice heard.

I know a lot of landlords really frustrated now and I am too. So we asked if our my submission could be published for people to read.

Hopefully others will see they aren’t alone in dealing with these challenges and those with power can see what is really happening.

Our Story – We Did Every Thing Right, The System Is Wrong

Like many others reading here we are not a rich. We are originally immigrants who saw Canada as a peaceful land which followed the rule of law instead of the law of personality and corruption.

We arrived and are both working class people who only bought our own home later in life. We rented for years and  made sure rent was a priority to pay.

We are still coupon cutters and saved every cent we could. Yes, I’m that person you see lined up at the grocery store the morning of a sale.

We have an old tv and almost never take any vacations  and we are fine with that because we want to plan for our future.

We have never bought a new car, always used. We didn’t even want to buy a car but found public transportation lacking and not convenient, especially in the cold winters.

Finally Built a Small Nest Egg

When we finally had some savings a few years ago we were looking to invest somehow. Our money was just sitting in the bank and we spoke with our bank representative about options.

She told us we could go into GICs, but they paid very little interest. And the stock market was something we were not comfortable with because it looks to us like a casino where only the insider players make money.

We were still looking for options.

Buying A Property To Rent

After long talks with each other, we came across the idea of buying a rental property.

We rented for years and remembered how tough it was to find a really nice place. We always worried about the landlord/property management because many of the rental buildings were not well maintained in our city. When we needed to move and find a new place due to work reasons it felt like Russian roulette.

So we decided we can try to buy a well located property and make it the nicest one around.

And we would be the best landlords around.

We wanted the property and how it was run to be exactly what we always looked for but never found. We planned to personally take care of the property, fix things quickly and with high quality materials, and charge an affordable price.

Our goal was people would see our place compared to others and get to know us for a mutually respectful business relationship.

Great Duplex, Great Rental, Great Location

We spoke with our bank and learned what we needed to qualify for the mortgage. I know tenants are talking a lot about mortgage fraud by small landlords and it does exist, especially for people with multiple rentals. This is wrong and makes us all look bad.

Fortunately for us we had high credit from always paying our bills and could qualify to buy a property in a certain price range.

We spent months looking and looking and the more places we saw the more we were confident we could be the best landlords around. So many of places for sale were run down, damages, smelled horrible, and not something we would have wanted to rent.

Our real estate agent finally showed us a property in a good area close to public transportation, shopping, and schools. It was vacant and we were told by our real estate agent the current owner was a foreign investor who wanted to sell.

We made our offer and after some wiggling it was accepted! We finally had our investment property, in a nice area and now it was our time to have the perfect rental property with (we hoped to be) amazing, caring landlords.

Fixing The Property

In our area it’s hard to find a really nice rental in a great area. Now we at least had the great area. Now it was time to fix it.

We did everything ourselves except the new shingles and the electrical and plumbing. We spent weeks scrubbing, painting, putting in new flooring and landscaping.

We spent more on our rental than in our own home for things like blinds, curtains, new counter tops, new appliances, and new clean light switches.

Both the upper and lower units looked like brand new houses.

We made them into places we always hoped to find but always ended up disappointed.

Great Property On The Market At An Affordable Price

We felt great even after coming home at midnight after doing sanding, painting and other fixing issues in the new property.

We had one of the best properties on the market, we wanted to be the best most friendly landlords ever, and were optimistic and excited.

We are both working class people wanting to help working class people like us!

Things Started Off Well

We found good tenants for both units in the upper and lower apartments. We made sure to use the right legal materials and rent credit checks with Rent Check.

It was a good first year. Unfortunately, the lower unit moved out after a year and the couple of teachers moved out after two years because they bought their own townhouse.

Our next tenants moved in and things were also good for a long while.

No Evictions, No Landlord And Tenant Board, No Law

They are legally “playing the system”

Things have changed in 2020. We had our first problems with the downstairs tenant who didn’t pay rent in February. He hasn’t paid since.

Then after Premier Ford say tenants didn’t have to pay rent in March our upstairs tenants have refused to pay. They told me it’s “their right.” They didn’t want to negotiate, didn’t want to work things out.

Our Tenants Are Now Not Paying Rent And We Can’t Evict Them And We are Owed Thousands of Dollars in Rent With No End In Sight!

This is all because the government is not allowing the legal system to operate… and we suspect our tenants are abusing the system because they know they can’t be evicted! Isn’t Canada supposed to be a nation of laws and not one of lawlessness?

Things were about to become worse. Doug Ford where are you to help me and my family not go bankrupt!

To Be Continued…

ODSP Recipient Tenants Struggling To Survive Pandemic

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

OLA Member Small Landlords Working Together With Our Tenants In These Challenging Times

Many people mistakenly think all tenants receive CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) equaling $2000.00 per month. This leads some landlords to create their payment plans based on this.

Recently there was an important report on Citynews called “ODSP recipients struggling to survive pandemic”. This has helped us educate landlords and created a flurry of discussion amongst our members.

-According to the report, tenants on ODSP get less than $1200.00 per month.

-Also, ODSP recipients are not eligible for the CERB ($2000.00/mo) and can be punished with claw-back of benefits if they apply.

-People are being left destitute with less than $50/week to feed themselves.

Let’s Get The Message Out

For over a decade the Ontario Landlords Association has always been about good landlords working together with good tenants for a win-win situation (or survival-survival situations during these challenging times). 

Our members are working class people. These include carpenters, nurses, teachers, entrepreneurs, health care workers, police officers, fire-fighters, plumbers, seniors and others. We have invested to try to create some monthly cash-flow and prepare for their retirement.

Our members don’t live in mansions (and many of our members rent out their basements).

1. Landlords Make Sure You Are Aware Of The Real Challenges Your Tenants Face

Many of our members rent to ODSP recipients. Make sure you are aware of the financial reality your tenants face.

Talk with your tenants, work things out, understand each others concerns.  Create a realistic payment or deferral plan based on real data.

2. The Provincial Government Needs To Help Tenants On ODSP 

The provincial government needs to step up and help out ODSP recipients pay rent.

The Premier and the Minister Of Housing are aware of the challenges small residential landlords and tenants face and already reached out to the federal government (which refused to help).

With rising food and medical costs, tenants on ODSP need help from the province.

Landlords are helping but many small landlords need rent to survive and are struggling as well.

We don’t want to evict anyone (it’s the last resort) and many of us have strong, friendly relationships with our tenants.

We don’t hire property managers or lawyers to intimidate tenants. What we do is call and chat and try to work things out.

3. It’s time for an emergency “rent grant” to all tenants on ODSP or OW from the province

Small landlords aren’t rich and we have limits. We need the province to setp up to the plate.

The logistics of this will not be difficult. The province of British Columbia is already helping all tenants by paying landlords up to $500 per month to help cover tenant rent.

Let’s Stop Evictions…Here’s The Solution

Recipients on ODSP or OW can access a “rent grant” that will cover their rent for the next 6 months (which will be renewed if we are still in lock-down)

This payment will be sent to the landlord directly and the landlord will agree not to file for eviction.

Boom goes the dynamite – most evictions will be cancelled!

4. Let’s Extend This To All Residential Tenants in Ontario

-Want to avoid landlord-tenant conflict?

-Want to make sure their is no tsunami of evictions when the Landlord and Tenant Board eventually opens?

The province can easily step in and help tenants. If the government helps commercial landlords and tenants, why not help residential landlords and tenants?

The Province Needs To Help Tenants And Stop Putting The Financial Burden On Struggling Small Landlords Creating Unnecessary Conflict With Our Tenants

Airlines are getting a bail-out. Commercial landlords are getting a bail out.

What about tenants?

We need government to play a role and stop pitting landlords vs. tenants.

If this is too expensive, make the “Rent Grant” available to only tenants who are on ODSP, OW, rent from small landlords. 

We think this rent grant should go to all tenants but if there are true budget constraints at least help out tenants on ODSP, OW, and tenants who rent from small landlords.

This will make corporate lobbyists angry. But those billion dollar REITS aren’t worried about being able to pay their property taxes in June like many small landlords are.

And while these corporate landlords can spend a lot of money to politicians, they are not the same as hundreds of thousands of voters who thought they were getting a pro-business leadership.

THIS CAN HAPPEN: No Evictions, Small Landlords Secure, Tenants Secure, And We Are A Team During This Pandemic…It’s Easy To Do!

Ontario can lead  the way and be a role-model for the rest of Canada.

If millions of dollars can be invested on widening highways, money can surely be spent on saving the residential rental industry in Ontario.

…and saving hundreds of thousands of working class landlords and tenants from stress, conflict, trial dates, evictions…and worse.

Did Your Tenants Pay May 1st Rent?

Thursday, April 30th, 2020

Create your own user feedback survey